With Lake Erie to the north and the Ohio River to the south, much of the state of Ohio is outlined by its waterways. The land in between is filled with a diversity of experiences: cosmopolitan cities, delightful small towns, bucolic farmland and the rolling hills of Appalachia. Visitors are drawn to our state for the amusement parks, world-class museums, history and more.
The Buckeye State’s biggest cities are the three C’s: Cincinnati in the southwest, Columbus (the state capital) in the center and Cleveland in the northeast. These cities are home to several major professional sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds (the nation’s first professional baseball team), Cincinnati Bengals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. Sports fans won’t want to miss a trip to Canton to tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Theme park enthusiasts know that Ohio is home to two of the best amusements parks in the country: Cedar Point in Sandusky and Kings Island just outside Cincinnati. Over three million adrenaline seekers visit each park annually to experience their record-setting rides.
Both wine and beer aficionados will find much to explore in Ohio. Ohio has been producing wine since the early 1800’s, and by 1859, was the leading producer of wine. Today it is one of the top ten wine-producing states. You’ll find vineyards and wineries in every corner of the state. Ohio also has a proud heritage of craft beer brewing that dates back over 200 years. You can sample beers and learn about brewing history at the same time.
Ohio is home to three nationally noteworthy museums: The National Underground Railroad Museum Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. Dozens of smaller museums, many with quirky themes, offer even more to explore.
History buffs find many treasures in Ohio. Dayton is the heart of the National Aviation Heritage Area, with over 15 sites related to the Wright Brothers and the history of aviation. Ohio boasts being home to eight U.S. Presidents and has over a dozen historic sites and museums where you can learn more about them. In the 1800’s many abolitionists lived in Ohio and left behind a rich Underground Railroad history.
Ohio’s prehistory is also notable. Paleontologists from all over the world flock to Cincinnati in search of fossil specimens from the Ordovician period. Prehistoric Native Americans left behind mysterious earthworks, many of which remain. The Great Serpent Mound is an impressive 1348-ft. long structure shaped like a snake. Fort Ancient offers both an impressive earthwork as well as a museum where you can learn what archaeologists and anthropologists have discovered about Ohio’s prehistoric cultures.
There is no shortage of natural beauty in Ohio; it is home to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and many beautiful state parks including Clifton Gorge and Hocking Hills with breathtaking rock formations. A gorgeous lakeshore and several islands in Lake Erie attract many vacationers.